My Testimony of the Bible
To all who may find their way to this page, Greetings!
It is 21 January 2021, and I've just started to realize that I'm getting "up there" in age (I'll be 70 years old in October), and it seemed to me that I should write a bit about the Bible and record my testimony of it as the word of God.
If you've read my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, then you'll know that I have a strong testimony, received from God Himself, that that book is of divine origin, and is God's word. My testimony of the Bible is similar, but not of the same origin.
My mother died when I was seven years old, and my father didn't at that time have a home suitable for my brother and I to live in during school hours (because he had to work, and getting me ready to go to school was not something he could do at the same time). My grandmother Irene, my father's mother, lived only a few blocks from her own mother, my great-grandmother, and as I was very quiet boy but my brother was much more rambunctious, I was sent to live my great grandmother, and my brother went to live with my grandmother.
My great grandmother, Rose Whitney, was a Christian and a member of the Church of the Brethren in our city of Lakewood, California. However, she was no longer spry enough to attend services. Nevertheless she took care to send me to her church, which was only a few blocks away. She also regularly read to me out of the Bible and told me Bible stories. So I received my first religious education from her, and in reading to me (as well as obtaining books at my level to read) she gave me a love of reading that has persisted to this day. Also, by her example, she gave me my first belief in God and Jesus Christ. I don't recall ever thinking in such concrete terms, but if anyone had asked me, I would have said that I was a Christian. And I believed that the Bible was the word of God, though I didn't read much in it after my father remarried and I was back in his household. He was a bit of an agnostic, and though he occasionally sent my brother and I to a local church when we lived with him (during the summers only, until he remarried), he never attended church himself. At least to the best of my recollection. He always said that he "hoped" there was a god, but didn't know.
My stepmother was a Baptist, but not particularly church-going. She attended church only a few times per year in the Baptist congregation that her parents attended, and she always took us when she went. Whenever we went, it seemed like there was something called an "altar call" when young people were encouraged to stand up and declare themselves Christian (after which they would presumably be baptized), but I never did so declare myself. I actually don't recall if they ever held baptismal services, but I assume they did, otherwise why would they be Baptists?
So here I was a "nominal" Christian who didn't know a great deal about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and who knew only a little about the Bible. This was the state of affairs when I encountered my very first "Mormon", or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After that, things were never the same again, for now I learned who Jesus Christ really was, what the Bible was, and then acquired a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
But what about the truthfulness of the Bible? Was it really God's word? How would I know if it was? This was a problem easily solved, however! The solution was in the Book of Mormon. I read in the book of First Nephi that the prophet Nephi was shown a vision by an angel, and in the vision Nephi is shown a book which would be carried by the Gentiles who would come to the land that Nephites were migrating to, and that book was clearly recognizable as the Bible.
In 1 Nephi 13 it reads:
20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they [the Gentiles] did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.
21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?
22 And I said unto him: I know not.
23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass [the sacred record that the Nephites carried with them, containing parts of the Bible], save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.
24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
The important thing about the above, without going into further detail about the quality of the Bible that would come down to "the Gentiles", is that the Book of Mormon here testifies of the truthfulness and reliability of the Bible as the Word of God.
And since I knew that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and it testifies of the Bible, therefore the Bible is the word of God also.
However, since the Book of Mormon makes clear in the verses following those quoted above that our Bible today has omissions and inaccuracies, we must rely upon prophecy (or the sure word of prophecy) to know where the Bible is to be trusted.
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